BackCountry Navigator

6 messages
09/02/2012 at 23:26
Hi all, this is my first post here.

Not meant as a commercial (I'm not affiliated with them ), but a good recommendation in all honesty.

BackCountry Navigator is an Android (and Windows Mobile) offline GPS app. You can use, for the UK, OS Landranger maps (1:50,000).
It costs 7 GBP but it's well worth it.

Some of the advantages:
* It's totally complete, you don't need anything else.
* It saves you weight.
* As opposed to Google Maps or other maps/navigation apps, it can work offline. Download the maps at home and they're on your phone to stay.
* Afraid of running out of battery? First of all, you can use the GPS in Airplane Mode (if your device doesn't allow that they developed a small fix for that, separate - free - app to download, called GPS Airtime). Secondly, buying a couple of spare phone batteries is much cheaper than dedicated GPS batteries. For most (smart)phones a spare battery shouldn't cost more than 10 GBP. So even if you get 5 or even 10 spare batteries - you're still cheaper out than with a dedicated GPS.
* You can use an old Android phone for this. Personally I use my wife's old Samsung i7500, for which we have 3 batteries. I haven't gone to the limit yet, but with GPS tracking enabled for 2,5 hours I still had 75% of battery left, so I should be able to get 10 hours (or, let's be careful and estimate 7,5 hours) from one battery - meaning three batteries should get me some 22,5 hours of continuous GPS tracking. Seeing that I don't use this all the time when walking as a matter of principle (it's really just for emergencies, for example when forced to walk in the dark or when completely lost / disoriented) - I think I should easily be able to manage for at least a couple of days without any power needed and without having to worry about getting lost.

I'll write some more about the rest of my usual kit elsewhere.
11/02/2012 at 09:22
Just bought this, really good piece of software. Makes my vast collection of .pdf Explorer maps semi-redundant.
11/02/2012 at 10:49
"it's really just for emergencies, for example when forced to walk in the dark or when completely lost / disoriented)"

It sounds fine for that purpose. Can you get 25k maps to use with it?
11/02/2012 at 12:29
Parky Again wrote (see)
"it's really just for emergencies, for example when forced to walk in the dark or when completely lost / disoriented)" It sounds fine for that purpose. Can you get 25k maps to use with it?

Yes, you can. I have BCN as an app on my Tablet, although i use Viewranger as my main nav aid. Basically uou install the app, then use the screen to download the areas you wish, this will include 50k and 25k (though you can speicy which levels are saved, the default is all in that area). They're stored 'offline', so they're available when there's no 3g connection and work fine with the gps chip in your device.
Edited: 11/02/2012 at 12:30
11/02/2012 at 19:24
Nice to see I'm not the only one using it. It's not particularly cheap for an app but certainly worth it.

I, by the way, can only seem to get it to download 50k maps - even though I read, here and elsewhere, that others can now (again) download 25k maps as well. For a while they only had 50k. I guess I'll reinstall it, since I am currently on the latest version.
13/02/2012 at 11:55
Selecting the area you want, make sure the 'max zoom' is set to 15. That should get you the 25k maps as well.
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